All posts by Bennett Ring
PS4 vs Xbox One

By on December 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Despite my well-earned reputation as a PC elitist, I’m actually platform agnostic (sound of editor snorting with laughter).

I don’t give a damn about the brand or cost; I simply follow my retinas to the best visuals, and my fingertips to the most interesting mainstream experiences (I’m sadly not a fan of indie or retro gaming). While the PC has been the rock in my relationship with games, I’ve had lengthy dalliances with the SNES, PS1, Xbox and Xbox 360, yet I’ve always returned to Ye Olde Faithful, drawn by the allure of its constantly evolving hardware.

With the release of two next-gen consoles, I figured I’d share my impressions of the new consoles from a PC lover’s perspective. Rather than just give you the specs of each, I’m going to talk about them from an experiential perspective. How do they look, sound, operate and play compared to the PC?

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Battlefield 4

By on November 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Battlefield 3 was a rather big deal for DICE, as it had been over six years since the prior full-blown Battlefield title. DICE flexed its technical muscles in the intervening years, bringing Bad Company 1 and 2 to the consoles, but PC gamers were left craving that true Battlefield experience. With BF3 came a brand new engine, and the step up for the series was impressive. If you’re expecting a similar leap in graphical fidelity with BF4, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, as there’s only so much more visual wonder you can squeeze into two years’ worth of coding and hardware evolution.

At first glance it looks almost identical to BF3, but by the time you’ve emptied your seventh clip of 5.56mm ammo you’ll start to realise that nearly every facet of the game has been tweaked.

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Oculus Rift

By on May 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Nate Mitchell is the VP of Product behind the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset turning heads and stomachs with its impressive technology and affordable entry-level pricing. Bennett Ring sat down with Nate to talk all things VR, what’s in store for the Rift, and whether or not the PS4 will be powerful enough to run their tech.

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AMD Radeon HD 7990

By on April 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

The AMD Radeon HD 7990 is one of the strangest reviews I’ve had to write in quite some time. You see, the first dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 was released “unofficially” by PowerColor way back in December of 2012. Then ASUS released the ARES II, another version of the 7990 living off a H2O diet thanks to its built-in water cooler. Yet it’s taken AMD several more months to get around to releasing the official version of the card — and now we’re ready to put it through its paces.

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BioShock: Infinite

By on March 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

At a recent BioShock Infinite showing, had the chance to sit down with Irrational’s Bill Gardner, User Experience Specialist on the upcoming game. We spoke to him about all things PC, including Irrational’s dedicated PC support team, how DX11 is improving their experience, and the difficulties in making characters like Elizabeth interact well with the player. Take a look below, or download the video in HD from our file library.

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Dead Space 3

By on February 12, 2013 at 9:47 am

I’ve got a couple of disclaimers to make before I wax lyrical about Dead Space 3. Firstly, I’m a massive fanboy of the series, with the original making it into my top 5 of all time. Secondly, I’m a bit of a horror aficionado; if a movie doesn’t have cats jumping out of closets, ghosts revealed in mirrors or a shower-curtain reveal scene, it won’t make it into my collection of 300 horror DVDs and Blu-rays.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can explain why I think Dead Space 3 is easily the best in the series, despite the fact that the last third of the game won’t have you reaching for the Valium quite as much as its predecessors…

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Dead Space 3

By on February 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm

At a recent EA event, had the chance to sit down with Visceral’s Dave Woldman, senior producer on Dead Space 3. Woldman discussed Visceral’s approach to horror, how they’re planning to keep the game scary, and how truly successful horror is about the absence of combat, and more about what you don’t show rather than what you do.

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Dead Space 3

By on January 22, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Dead Space 3 launches in Australia very soon — February 7, to be exact — and it’s bringing with it a whole new approach to co-op, where the game dynamically responds to the presence of another player by adjusting the storyline and levels to suit. recently had the chance to sit down with producer Shereif Fattouh to discuss how they’re going to keep the game scary even with another player around to comfort you.

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Crysis 3

By on January 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

At the recent EA summer showcase, using the aid of his nanosuit’s cloaking mode, Bennett Ring snuck into the dressing room of Michael Elliot Read, Producer on Crysis 3. Unfortunately the cloak energy ran out just as Michael was taking his pants off, so to defuse this awkward moment Bennett quick-fired off a list of things he’s been wondering about EA’s upcoming sci-fi stealth blaster. The result was this interesting insight into Crysis 3’s approach to linearity, local matchmaking, hardware requirements and more, with not a peeping tom violation in sight.

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Crysis 3

By on December 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

While Crysis 2 proved to be a hit with controller crowd, PC gamers weren’t too impressed. During my recent hands-on with Crysis 3, the developer went to great lengths to emphasise that Crytek had learned its lesson, and that yes, Crysis 3 will once again feel like a true PC experience. I spent 30 rather enjoyable minutes discovering whether or not these claims were true.

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BenQ RL2450H RTS monitor

By on December 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

BenQ’s XL2420T monitor set a new benchmark for 24-inch gaming monitors, not least in the pricing department. At $500 it’s around twice the price of competing displays, but your wallet won’t feel molested when you wrap your loving gaze around its compelling image quality, with razor sharp response times and image presets custom built for first person shooters.

Sadly half a grand is still out of the reach of most mere mortals, despite the amazing feature set, so BenQ has released another 24-incher that won’t see you sleeping in the dog house if your other half finds the receipt. The RL2450H retails for just $199, yet BenQ claims it shares many of the same qualities that its pro-gamer cousin includes. Let’s see if it can live up to the family name.

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Gigabyte GTX 680 4GB

By on October 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Using your mobile at a gas station can cause the pump to explode into flames. Increasing the amount of memory on a video card from 2GB to 4GB will increase game performance. Blue whales are the largest living things on Earth. Which of these three facts is actually true? The answer will probably surprise you – they’re all bollocks. Mobiles have never caused a fire at a petrol station, the largest living thing on the planet is technically a mushroom colony in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest, and doubling your VRAM from 2GB to 4GB has absolutely no impact on performance… for 99.99% of users. Find out why inside.

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Medal of Honor: Warfighter

By on October 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ever been frustrated by being shot as you run into cover in Battlefield 3? Ever wondered why you can’t look down the scope while crawling in prone mode? What about why games like Battlefield and Medal of Honor don’t feature locational VOIP, or what system requirements you’ll need to run Warfighter on Ultra?

We’ve been speaking to Kristoffer “Hoffe” Bergqvist, Creative Director of Multiplayer from Danger Close Games, and ex-DICE employee of six years on the Battlefield series, and he’s given us all the answers. Read on for our massive interview on all the nitty-gritty details on Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted

By on September 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

After our recent hands-on session with Need for Speed: Most Wanted, we managed to corner the game’s producer, Criterion’s Leanne Loombe, for a chat about why the PC version will make its console counterparts look positively ugly. Read on for all the specifics, including how they’ve leveraged DX11 for a 300% performance increase on PC, and exactly what sort of rig will be required to push it as hard as you can.

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted

By on September 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Let’s be honest here – Need for Speed Most Wanted might as well be called Need for Speed Takedown Paradise. Developer Criterion tuned its racing credentials on the open roads of Paradise City in the Burnout series, and cruising through the streets of Need for Speed Most Wanted feels like a scenic homage to that beloved urban racing arena. It’s a surprising move considering Criterion’s debut Need for Speed title, Hot Pursuit, shifted from the sandbox to a series of lengthy linear tracks, and the pay-off was a tighter focus on more controlled, action-packed racing. Has Most Wanted’s return to open word racing sacrificed the intensity and detail afforded by Hot Pursuit’s linear tracks, or has Criterion managed to bring the best of both worlds?

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Corsair Neutron SSD's

By on September 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Although everybody by now is aware that an SSD can push your computer to insane speeds, the fact that almost all the top drives on the market use the same SandForce controller has led to little difference between brands. The new Corsair Neutron range, however, are rocking an all-knew LAMD-brand controller – so let’s see how they stack up.

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